Giovanni Savarese, Timbers vs. RSL 8.29.20

Portland Timbers Quotes

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese
On his thoughts on the match...
“It was a disappointing match. A game that we scored enough goals to come out of this game with three points, but at the end we didn’t have the resilience to finish the game with a result that should’ve given us three points. We give up too easy, when you score four goals at home, you should have a minimum three points. Giving up at the end those two goals, it goes back to the similar situation against Seattle, giving up three goals at the end, so we need to be better, it's not good enough. So I take full responsibility first of all for the situation, but I think some players need to understand that it's not good enough at the end to give up two goals when you went in 4 to 2 in the last four minutes. So I’m very disappointed about this match, and I’m sure the defense is disappointed as well.”

On the difference in defense tonight versus in the MLS Is Back Tournament...
“I think sometimes when you mentally have lapses, and you don’t have a full 11 the entire match engaged, then this situation is going to happen. In Orlando, there was commitment, resilience, discipline, all the way through the match. Today we did a lot of great things, we were winning 4-2. Especially the second half, we were very good, we created chances, and we even had chances to be able to go 5-2. But then you cannot go and give up two goals in the last four minutes. So, there are mental lapses, and it needs to be much better. As I said, when you score four goals at home, it's a win. It cannot be a tie. You cannot lose. We tied 4-4 today, and it’s very disappointing. So as I said, I take full responsibility of the result today, I take it on me, but I’m sure that some players need to make sure that they look at the performance, and it's unfortunate because the majority of the game the guys fought hard to get the result that was going to give us the three points.”

On what his message to the team will be tonight…
“It’s simple, what I’m saying right now, is when you score four goals you should win, at home especially. To give up the points, to tie 4-4, especially allowing them to score two goals in the last four minutes, it’s not good enough. The mentality of the group has been very, very good, the guys are working hard, but we cannot have lapses at the end that allow this team to score two goals. It’s impossible, it shouldn’t happen. as much as they give everything that they have, there shouldn’t be a way for them to have found two goals the last four minutes. So, it's on us, it's on me, I have to analyze some of the substitutions, and analyze some of the things that happened at the end, and then we continue to work going forward. We have a great group, a group that is very committed, but unfortunately these past two games, it's not good enough to play 70 minutes, it's not good enough to play 90 minutes, you have to play 94’. We gave up today a well-deserved win that we had in our pockets already, and it’s unfortunate, because there were so many good performances, so many good goals, so much sacrifice and determination to get the points, and then we give it up at the end, it's not good enough.”

On the mental aspect of this week and leading into the next game...
“First of all, I think that what happened during the week has nothing to do with what happened on the field today. The players are professionals, we all understand that we have responsibilities outside of the field, and I think I have mentioned many times that the team has been very united to a cause that is very important. But then when you step on the field it should be business as usual, and the performance to make sure that it's done, and is the right one, and it was for the majority of the game, 90 minutes, we were winning 4-2, we scored four goals at home. We were prolific. We did a lot of good things, and at the end in the last four minutes, it's not because of what happened during the week, it's a mental lapse that we just gave the game away in the last four minutes, and it has to be much better. Against Seattle, it was the same. Great performance for 73 minutes, we deserved to win, we had the game in control, and then in the end we lose 3-0. Too many goals at home, that’s not good enough.”

On playing Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Jeremy Ebobisse together...
“As I mentioned before, there are choices that we can make, we can have two players like Niezgoda and Jebo [Jeremy Ebobisse] playing together, we saw how well they’re able to perform today, we even have the possibility to play three players like Mora [Felipe Mora], Niezgoda, and Jebo at a point. So I think this is the flexibility that we have, the options that we have, me as the coach, I have the opportunity to be able to do that, and I thought that they did a very good job. Credit to Jebo, playing in a wide area, not only created dangerous situations going forward, also helped us very much to defend with honesty, and in sacrifice to make sure that he had a very strong performance. So unfortunately as I said we gave it up at the end, but there were some very important and good things that we saw, and that’s one of them, the Jebo and Niezgoda association, I thought that was very good.”

Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse
On if Wednesday’s events had any impact on tonight’s performance...
“When you decide you’re going to step on the field, then you have one job – the job is to get three points and unfortunately over the course of the 90 minutes lots of back and forth. Perhaps we weren’t always at our best throughout those 90 minutes but we were still in a position to win the game and so it’s very disappointing at home on the back of a long week to concede in the manner that we did. And so, we just have to build from the moments of disappointment tonight and make sure that we put in a complete performance on Wednesday.” 

On playing with Jaroslaw Niezgoda for the first time in the starting lineup this season...
“Anytime you have two talented players on the field, it’s definitely a positive for the club and finding ways to work with each other is something that’s going to be important moving forward depending on how we line up as a team. So that’s something that we’re looking forward to building. I think in the first half it was a little bit difficult, we weren’t able to keep the ball so given that, it made it more challenging for him to make movements off of my balls and likewise with me. I think in the second half though it improved a little bit and we saw glimpses of what could be not just with me and him but with some of the other guys and him too, so, overall we’ve got talent across the team. When guys step onto the field we just need to make sure that we’re performing completely offense and defense.”

On the team’s collective defensive performance...
“I’m going to need to watch the game back and make sure that I answer appropriately because the game happens real quickly. I know that there are a few goals on set pieces, one of them I lost my mark, or I wasn’t tight enough to him, I didn’t lose him. So, he was able to redirect it back across and from then it’s difficult. Individual matchups and reading the flight of the ball I think is important for all of us and from there just trying to put our bodies on the line. I know everyone did that tonight, it didn’t go our way. We’re really disappointed to concede four goals at home as anyone would be. But we can’t stay too down on our luck, there’s another game on Wednesday and we need to win that.”

On Real Salt Lake’s game plan throughout the match…
“It’s on us, frankly, whatever they’re doing wasn’t something that we’re not used to seeing. We know that teams like to re-press when they lose the ball. We know teams have cues when we’re building out the back and, on those cues, they’re going to go as a team. So, I think it’s on us and maybe a little bit of lacking in sharpness, maybe a little bit of lacking in the movement, I think that’s what we talked about at halftime a little bit. Just the gelling of the team wasn’t there in the earlier part of the first half. But I think in the second half as well we started to really work off of each other, seesawing at the right times, rotating in the right pockets. There are glimpses where we are in tune with what we’re trying to do that allows us to break teams down, but we need to find a way to settle into the game early on and make sure we don’t give them confidence especially when we’re playing at home.”


  • Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored his first career goal at Providence Park. The goal was his second of the regular season and his fourth in all competitions.
  • Diego Chara tallied his first goal of the 2020 season. It was Chara’s first goal since Oct. 21, 2018, which also came against Real Salt Lake. He has scored 10 career goals for the Timbers.
  • Chara has scored 11 goals in all competitions for Portland. The Timbers are unbeaten, posting a record of 8-0-2 when Chara scores a goal.
  • Sebastián Blanco tallied his second regular-season goal in 2020 and his fourth goal in all competitions.
  • Blanco’s four goals in all competitions this season are tied for the team lead with Jeremy Ebobisse and Diego Valeri.
  • Blanco has scored five career goals against RSL, which is three more than he has scored against any other MLS team.
  • Blanco recorded his fourth assist in regular-season play, which is tied for third-most in MLS.
  • Blanco has seven career matches with both a goal and an assist for Portland.
  • Felipe Mora recorded his first career goal for the Timbers in the match. Mora is the 59th different player to score in an MLS match for Portland.
  • Valeri tallied his sixth career assist against RSL, which ranks as the most in the all-time series.
  • Ebobisse notched his first assist of the 2020 regular season. It was Ebobisse’s first assist since June 1, 2019.
  • The Timbers have scored in 12 consecutive matches against RSL, which ties a club record for most consecutive matches with a goal against a single club (LA Galaxy).
  • The eight combined goals in the match are tied for the most in a Timbers match since the club joined MLS in 2011.
  • For the second time since the 1975, Portland played in a match that ended in a 4-4 draw. The only other 4-4 match in team history took place on April 5, 2014.